I got this salad idea from my friend and decided to make my own.
Basically, I sauteed red onions, tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, white mushrooms, garlic,
with curry, dried herbs, salt and white pepper in olive oil.
Then, I tossed in the quinoa and fresh spinach.
I think the curry was the magic ingredient in this simple yet delicious dish.
Oh, and I topped it with blueberries! Since last summer, I’ve been adding blueberries to my quinoa salads.
Magic ingredients: Curry and blueberries!
March 28, 2013 | Filed Under Beets, Foods I Never Liked Before Until I Started to Cook, Salad | 6 Comments
Fresh beets about to be prepared.
This new year, I’ve found a new love. Beets.
I know I sound fickle. Last year, I puffy hearted Brussels Sprouts and before that it was broccoli and before that … Well, never mind. Back to beets. It started with this salad recipe. Oh. My. Gosh. I’ve found that I love fresh beets! I’ll shout it from the mountain tops! This is another one of the foods that I never, ever liked, before. And now I
like love it. I love it’s dark, rich, red/purplish color. I love its unique taste — sort of like a sweet carrot, but earthy? Does that make sense? How would you describe the taste of fresh beets? Tell me. I love that beets are good for you, filled with vitamins and low in calories. What more could you ask?
I watched the preparation of this Beets, Orange and Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad on the food segment of our local news show. The host explained the preparation fairly easily, and I thought to myself, "I can do that". Although I initially balked at the idea of beets in a salad, it looked delicious by the time the chef host finished preparing it.
Getting ready make Almond-crusted goat cheese
I enjoyed preparing the beets. It was SO very easy. I had fun making the almond-crusted goat cheese, which was much easier to prepare than it sounded and it tasted really good!
After putting together the rest of the ingredients, viola! – I had my Beets, Orange and Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad.
I liked the dressing, which was made from fresh orange juice, olive oil, ground cumin and jalapeno pepper. Sweet with a little bit of a kick to it to bring together all the other flavors of the cheese, almonds, orange pieces, beets and lettuce. I’ve been making this salad ever since and preparing beets in other recipes. Beets, my new love, I love ya!
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, et. al., don’t worry, I still loves ya, but right now, I’m on a honeymoon with my lovely beets
P.S. By the way, does anyone have a simple way of preparing the beets greens?
Beets, Orange and Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad
as seen on NY1 Cooking at Home/Dan Eaton
1/2 cup of almonds
8-ounce log goat cheese
1/2 an orange
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs minced, deseeded jalapeno pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Roast the beets in a 400 degree oven in a pan with a tight layer of aluminum foil over the top and about 1/3 cup water in the pan. You’ll easily be able to insert a knife into the center of the beets when they’re done.
Roast the beets whole and unpeeled, or cut larger beets in half so that they’re all the same size. This should take about 1 hour to roast.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, run them under cold water to remove the skins and then use a knife to cut them into thin bite size pieces, adding them to a mixing bowl as you go.
I’m using whole almonds that I bought already roasted and, for 8-ounces of goat cheese, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup to a food processor and grind the nuts into a medium coarse grind.
You could toast some sliced almonds on the stovetop and then crush those up a little bit instead.
Then place them onto a plate and gently but firmly roll the 8-ounce log of goat cheese into that.
Next, make the dressing by combining the juice of 1/2 an orange with an equal amount of extra virgin olive oil. Add about 1 tbs of finely minced, deseeded jalapeno pepper and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cumin and whisk it up.
Assemble the salads on individual plates with a little lettuce, topped with sliced oranges, sliced beets and some sliced goat cheese.
Spoon some vinaigrette over the top and finish with more ground almonds if you like.
I got this recipe from cooking segment on NY1, a 24-hour news channel that focuses on the news of the five boroughs in the city. The host is Dan Eaton and the name of the segment is called ‘Cooking at Home.’ From time to time, I see a recipe or two that may interest me but for one reason or another, I never get around to trying it. Until now.
When Dan mentioned roasted eggplant and zucchini, my ears immediately perked up. These are two of my favorite vegetables, ever since I started learning how to cook. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve discovered that I love roasted vegetables. So, I stopped to listen and watch Dan prepare his salad. I got more excited that the ingredients were simple — roasted red peppers, chickpeas and fresh mozzarella cheese (Oh, and fresh thyme).
The grocery store didn’t have any fresh thyme, so I used dried thyme, and instead of buying a ball of fresh mozzarella, I bought Perlini mozzarella (pearl-shaped mozzarella balls). That way, I didn’t have to worry about cutting the mozzarella ball in cubes. The Perlini mozzarella were bite-size perfect.
I enjoyed my Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Salad, but since I like a bit of heat in my food I decided to add a little something hot. On one occasion, I added pepperonchini and another time, I added a little Sambal Oelek (ground fresh Chili pepper). That hit the spot for me.
Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini Salad
4 small zucchini
2 small or medium-sized eggplants
A couple large garlic cloves
1 Tbs fresh thyme
1 large lemon
1 cup roasted red peppers
1 8-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and then cut those sections into 1-inch chunks. Then, cut the eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch slices and quarter those slices as well.
Mince the garlic cloves, chop the fresh thyme and add them to the chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Toss everything to coat, spread it out onto a couple of baking trays and place the trays into the preheated oven. They are going to take somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes to roast, and they should be stirred around occasionally.
While keeping an eye on that, squeeze the juice of the lemon through a strainer into a large mixing bowl and add about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, the chopped roasted red peppers, a cubed ball of fresh mozzarella cheese and a well-drained can of chickpeas. Toss everything to combine.
Once the eggplant is nice and soft and the zucchini is tender crisp, take it out of the oven and let it cool down to room temperature. Add that to the bowl with the chickpeas, toss everything to coat and serve.
I’ve eaten quinoa once or twice before and thought it wasn’t bad, but I never rushed to try it again. I was never excited to eat it again — until this recipe from Gluten-free Goddess. After making this quinoa salad, I had an I-Love-Quinoa moment. Since then, I’ve been eating it a lot — several times in the week. I really DO love it. I love its sorta nutty flavor, love its grainy, fluffy texture. I love that quinoa is very nutritious and high in protein. I’m a rice eater but lately, I’ve been substituting rice with quinoa. Oh, and I love how I can eat quinoa any time of the day — breakfast, lunch or dinner.
In this recipe, I love how the quinoa tastes so good with the greens, blueberries, strawberries and watermelon. I could have cut the fruits a bit smaller but I don’t mind the chunk-sized fruits. As a matter of fact, I like that size.
Another reason I love this recipe is because it is no-fuss one, especially during the heatwave weather we’ve been having. The fruits in the salad make it taste refreshing and the grain makes it filling. Perfect!
I super puffy heart quinoa! I super puffy heart Quinoa Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries and Watermelon!
Quinoa Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries and Watermelon
from Gluten-free Goddess
Meanwhile, prepare the fruit and baby greens.
1.5 cups fresh blueberries, washed, picked over
1.5 cups fresh strawberries, washed, sliced
1.5 cups diced watermelon
6 cups baby salad greens
A handful of fresh chopped herbs: cilantro, dill, parsley and mint
For the dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh squeezed lime juice from 1-2 limes
Cracked pepper, to taste
When the quinoa has cooled, drizzle it with the extra virgin olive oil and toss well to coat, fluffing with a fork to separate the grains. Add the fresh squeezed lime juice and toss again. Season with cracked pepper, to taste. Taste test. Add more olive oil or lime as needed.
Add the blueberries to the quinoa, and toss lightly.
Distribute the baby greens on six plates. Add the quinoa and blueberries. Add the sliced strawberries and diced watermelon, and the fresh chopped herbs.
And voila! A vegan gluten-free salad worthy of July Fourth.
Cook time: Maybe 30 minutes
Laylita of Laylita’s Recipes describes this salad as a quick and easy one to prepare. She’s right. It’s quick and easy AND delicious! Her recipe calls for arugula salad but I used a mix of varied baby salad leaves. It worked just fine. I’ve made this salad several times again. I. Love. It. I predict I’ll be eating a lot more of this salad and never get tired of it.
Strawberry goat cheese arugula salad
- ¼ medium sized red onion, sliced
- 4 loosely packed cups of arugula leaves
- 8 oz strawberries, sliced (about 1 ½ cups sliced)
- 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup spicy sweet pecans, homemade or store-bought
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Soak the red onion slices in cold lightly salted water until ready to use – this will help soak out the bitterness.
- Mix the balsamic vinegar with the olive oil and salt. The easiest way to do this is to put them in an airtight container and shake them until the ingredients are blended.
- Strain the onions and mix them with the arugula and the balsamic olive oil dressing.
- Layer the strawberry slices, goat cheese and spicy pecans on top.
- Toss table-side and serve immediately.